By Victor Okoye
Abuja, Sept. 21, 2021
Banyana Banyana of South Africa on Tuesday emerged champions of the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament after defeating the Super Falcons of Nigeria 4-2 in the final game.
The match, played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos, saw the two top teams in women’s football on the African continent at the moment face off in what was an explosive battle.
The Super Falcons, nine-time African champions, had narrowly edged Banyana Banyana on penalty kicks in the final of the 2018 Women AFCON in Ghana, after both teams could not be separated in regulation and extra time.
To reach the final encounter against the South Africans in Tuesday’s game, the Super Falcons defeated the Female Eagles of Mali 2-0.
Both goals had come from substitute Gift Monday late in the second half of the opening fixture.
Banyana Banyana came into the clash on the back of a 3-0 win over Ghana in their opening encounter.
The South Africans were truly dominant and impressive in their demolition of Ghana’s Black Queens.
On Tuesday, Banyana Banyana were gifted their opening goal in the early stages of the first half courtesy of an own goal by Alozie Chidi in the 5th minute.
It got better for Desiree Ellis’ charges after Linda Motlhalo slotted home from the penalty kick spot in the 17th minute after Ebi Onome handled the ball in the penalty box.
While Nigeria had a goal disallowed midway into the game, Banyana Banyana went on to bag a third goal three minutes before the half-time break, thanks to Gabriel Salgado’s effort.
Vivian Ikechukwu gave the Super Falcons a lifeline after pulling a goal back shortly after the break in the 47th minute.
The striker further reduced the deficit to one goal when she bagged her second goal in the 53rd minute.
While the Super Falcons were unable to add to their tally till the end of the second half, Banyana Banyana were awarded a second penalty kick however.
It was converted by Mamello Makhabane in the 86th minute to seal the win.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the six-team invitational tournament, which featured Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, South Africa, Cameroon and Morocco, kicked off on Wednesday and ended on Tuesday.